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  #1  
Old 10-04-2003, 07:54 PM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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Podiatry - real doctor or easy to get degree?

I have heard podiatry jokes. Is there a reason for this? Are these doctors not looked at favorably by the rest of the medical community? Is it looked like the last stop on the Dr. Trail? My sister-in-law is a podiatrist, makes a tone of money, but she is not the brightest bulb on the tree. Just last week, Seinfeld made a joke about podiatrists, as if they aren't real doctors,,,

So what's the deal? Can anyone shed any light on thiis one?
thanks
SF
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2003, 07:59 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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The DPM degree is a real degree. One learns to be proficient taking care of feet, including doing surgery. I entrusted my wife's bunion surgery to a podiatrist. And my ortho pals mostly don't care to do feet, when hips, knees, shoulders, and hands are so much sexier and more highly re-imbursed.

But historically podiatric school was often the refuge of those who could not get into medical school. Hence the jokes.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2003, 08:11 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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I thought it was podiatrists who got all the shit.
Sorry.
Not really.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2003, 08:12 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Proctologists. Damn.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2003, 09:10 PM
paperbackwriter paperbackwriter is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
The DPM degree is a real degree. One learns to be proficient taking care of feet, including doing surgery. I entrusted my wife's bunion surgery to a podiatrist. And my ortho pals mostly don't care to do feet, when hips, knees, shoulders, and hands are so much sexier and more highly re-imbursed.

But historically podiatric school was often the refuge of those who could not get into medical school. Hence the jokes.
Perhaps formerly, but in the last ~10-15 years the selectivity and quality of the six podiatry schools has greatly improved. Among other things:
  • All podiatry schools are now affiliated with or in joint teaching arrangements with an allopathic (aka "regular") medical school
    The first two years (basic sciences) are almost identical to the first two years of allopathic medical schools. Podiatry schools do not require Psychiatry and Ob/Gyn, but substitute Lower Extremity Anatomy, Podipediatrics (kiddie feet), Podiatric Medicine, Geriatrics, and Biomechanics.
    The remaining two years focus on rotations and externships but with a concentration on the lower extremity

DPM degrees are medical degrees, and podiatrists are regulated as doctors. They can prescribe medicines, perform surgery, etc. Depending on the state licensing, there are restrictions on how much of the body they can treat. Certain states also restrict some surgical procedures. For instance, here in Connecticut, my wife can treat any disease, dysfunction, or condition of the foot below the distal end of the tibia. Until about 4 years ago, podiatric surgeons could not perform amputations, but that has changed. Some states are more liberal, some more conservative, but the general focus of training and licensing is on the feet.

I should also say that any condition that affects the function of the foot is also within the scope of practice. E.g., she is involved in many diabetic patient's treatment plans.

The foot is a very complex structure, although there is a cultural bias against it (hence some of the jokes). Another factor in the bias against pods is that they are a definite minority in a competitive medical field. Each and every pod has to prove themselves to their allopathic brethren (and sistren). (Not too every allopath, however)

Laypeople also tend to be uninformed about podiatric medicine. On the other hand, even the most stubborn "I hate doctors" type tends to see a podiatrist when they can't walk anymore.

Trivia: The writer who did most of that Seinfeld episode is related to a pod, and some of the jokes in the episode reflect the writer's relative's stories.
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Old 10-04-2003, 09:23 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Thanks for the update, paper. I've always considered my local foot specialist to be as important as my local hand specialist.
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2003, 10:35 PM
paperbackwriter paperbackwriter is offline
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Well, of course, allopaths of such insight, wit, and erudition as yourself are excluded from my statement about pods having to prove themselves.

I was posting the information more in response to the OP rather than you. I just quoted you to expand on your information.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2003, 11:42 PM
KP KP is offline
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I have to say (speaking as a physician with a fair respect for his allopathic/osteopathic colleagues) that there is a great variance among practitioners in any field, but the best podiatrists I know -the handful that I would refer a patient to- actually seem to have both a practical knowledge and a genuine interest in the care of many specific common and uncommon foot ailments that is at least equal to, and probably superior to, my best orthopedist colleagues.

I wouldn't say that about all podiatrists, having been treated by some real losers myself (just as with MDs), but I've learned a lot more about the care of the foot in a family practice setting from good podiatrists than good orthopods.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2003, 01:10 AM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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What is a hand specialist called, anyway?
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2003, 04:56 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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People don't always trust non MD (or DOs). For instance I have been to Optometrists(sp?) and everytime they say I need glasses. I have never had any trouble seeing. I have no vision problems. On two seperate occasions I have been to Opthamologists(sp?)[I believe that is what they are called...MDs who treat Eye Diseases] and they both said..."You got eyes like a hawk"

Optometrists may be out to sell you glasses.

I had a great experience with a Chiropracter but there are some that claim they can cure other disease like Hypertension, Heart Problems etc..
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2003, 05:21 AM
lavenderviolet lavenderviolet is offline
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conflicting info on podiatry

I've read some podiatry forums because I was curious about the field and the responses there paint a very different picture of the profession than the replies here. A lot of people on pod forums talk about how horrible podiatry is nowadays. You can see an example of what I mean by reading some of the posts at http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/23927 (warning: the site has some pop ups) where many people claiming to pod students or former podiatrists complain about the field.
Basically, their allegations are that the podiatry schools now have very low standards and therefore just about anyone with a pulse can get in and become a podiatrist.
They claim this is because the job prospects are extremely bleak for new podiatrists. The older, established podiatrists are supposedly the only ones who make a good living. Does anyone have any documented information about what the outlook is for new podiatrists? I am not sure what to believe.
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2003, 09:33 AM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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lavenderviolet, and everyone else. Thank you for your answers so far.

Thanks for the link. I'll read through it later. However, what you said is basically what I've heard, which is that anyone with a pulse can get into podiatry school. No offense meant to anyone out there who is either a podiatrist or married to one. However, if you met my sister in law, I don't think you would feel good about her operating on your feet. She just doesn't impress me intellectually. She does operate on people, (amputations of toes and dealing with diabetics seems to fill her calendar), but talking to her once would be enough for me to seek a second opinion. I keep hearing what you said, i.e. "that podiatry schools now have very low standards and therefore just about anyone with a pulse can get in and become a podiatrist."

When my brother got married, I met a number of her classmates and walked away very unimpressed. NONE of them seemed to have the intellectual capacity to be a doctor. On the other hand, my sister-in-law DOES amputate people's toes, so she has to have SOMETHING upstairs, right?

Someone before mentioned that Podiatrists are not actually MD's. Is this true? I've heard the differences between an MD and a DO, but does Podiatry have the same public relations problems, or is it more than that?

Thanks,
SFP
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2003, 10:45 AM
KP KP is offline
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As an aside: anyone who sees a podiatrist, nurse practitioner (in states where they can practice independently) or other nonphysician practitioner should also know that 'limited scope' practitioners are held to a lower standard in court -- i.e. there have been many cases where a limited scope practitioner was found "not responsible" for something that would have been clear negligence or malpractice if an orthopod (who a full medical education before specialisty training) had overlooked it. The courts almost literally say "What can you expect? S/He's only a ..."

It's is not very common, given the vast numbers of patients, and is a limited concern, but educated consumers should know it anyway.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2003, 11:00 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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It's more than that, stinkpot.

No, a podiatrist is not an MD. They are a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, so don't go thru all the training an MD gets. DO's are Doctors of Osteopathy, but get essentially the same training as an MD, and can do the same things as an MD.

Meanwhile, optometrists get an Optometric Doctor degree, while ophthalmologists get an MD (or DO), then study the eye specifically. The ophthalmologist holds a higher degree and has more training than the optometrist.

Chiropracters get a Doctor of Chiropracty, which is not at all equivalent to the training an MD or DO gets.

To muddy the waters further, a Physician Assistant gets a BA degree (sometimes with more training than just a BA), but only practice under the direct supervision of a physician.

Meanwhile the Nurse Practitioner degree is an advanced degree which one earns after earing an RN. They provide direct patient care in a wide range of areas. Sometimes with, sometimes without, direct physician oversight (depending on your jurisdiction).

In addition there is the DVM, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Most posters here should not be getting their health care directly from a DVM. However, I've known some DVM's I'd trust more to care for my health than some MD's out there.
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Old 10-05-2003, 11:24 AM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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I was under the impression that all specialists were MDs before going on to specific fields. Then again, I've only talked to a few specialists.
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Old 10-05-2003, 11:39 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Specialists such as cardiologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedists, ophthalmologists, gastro-enterologists, etc etc are either MD or DO degree holders who have finished at least 1 year of residency in a general field before doing specialist training.

As for people with the title of "Doctor": Podiatrists, optometrists, and chiropracters do not hold the MD or DO degree. I can't think of any other health care doctors with this distinction, although one may hold a Ph.D. in an area of medicine and work in medical research. But said Ph. D. is not a physician, and does not do medical treatment.

Psychologists often have a Ph. D. in psychology and engage in therapy with patients, but don't prescribe medications.

Anybody I left out? Probably.
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2003, 12:48 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Can someone tell me the difference between podiatrist and chiropodist?

My family physician sent me to see a podiatrist to treat plantar fasciitis (if that is the spelling), so he obviously respected this one.
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Old 10-05-2003, 12:58 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Chiropodists
Same thing, different continent.
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  #19  
Old 10-05-2003, 04:48 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hari Seldon
Can someone tell me the difference between podiatrist and chiropodist?

My family physician sent me to see a podiatrist to treat plantar fasciitis (if that is the spelling), so he obviously respected this one.
You had a dictator growing on the sole of your foot? OW!!!
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  #20  
Old 10-05-2003, 04:50 PM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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Qadgop

excellent info. A couple of questions. Are you saying that my sister-in-law should not be addressed as "Dr Sis-in-Law"? If not, what is her proper address?

Also, you (or someone in this thread) gave an excellent example of a optometrist and an opthamologist (pardon any spelling errors). So, based on this, optometrist = podiatrist, and opthamologist = ???

Also, how many podiatry schools are in the country? Someone mentioned 6, but is that correct?

Thanks,
SFP
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  #21  
Old 10-05-2003, 05:46 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Her degree says "doctor of podiatric medicine" or some such. She's earned the title "doctor". Call her what she wants to be called. But she'd best not rush to any cardiac arrests at my institution.

Ophthalmologist = MD with 1 year general residency and 3 to 6 years specialized training in eye medicine.

The feature optometrists share with podiatrists are that both have degees with "doctor" in them, but neither are MD's or DO's. As such, on the state level, their licenses fall under the board of Podiatry and the board of Optometry, as opposed to the Board of Medicine

According to this link http://www.aacpm.org/careercenter/cz3_links.asp it appears there are 6 US podiatric schools.
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Old 10-05-2003, 05:47 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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This site lists podiatry schools around the world, and mentions a 7th US school. http://www.epodiatry.com/education.htm
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  #23  
Old 10-05-2003, 06:30 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
Specialists such as cardiologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedists, ophthalmologists, gastro-enterologists, etc etc are either MD or DO degree holders who have finished at least 1 year of residency in a general field before doing specialist training.

As for people with the title of "Doctor": Podiatrists, optometrists, and chiropracters do not hold the MD or DO degree. I can't think of any other health care doctors with this distinction, although one may hold a Ph.D. in an area of medicine and work in medical research. But said Ph. D. is not a physician, and does not do medical treatment.

Psychologists often have a Ph. D. in psychology and engage in therapy with patients, but don't prescribe medications.

Anybody I left out? Probably.
Dentists, who can be either DMD or DDS.

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What is a hand specialist called, anyway?
A hand specialist.
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  #24  
Old 10-05-2003, 07:03 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Thanks, barbi.

To elaborate a bit, a hand specialist is generally an orthopedist who does a Fellowship for a year or two after his/her Orthopedics residency is over.
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  #25  
Old 10-05-2003, 07:19 PM
InternetLegend InternetLegend is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
Psychologists often have a Ph. D. in psychology and engage in therapy with patients, but don't prescribe medications.
Except in the highly enlightened state of New Mexico, where a shortage of psychiatrists has been "solved" by allowing psychologists who take a course of training in pharmacology to prescribe psychotropic drugs.

From The American Psychological Association:
Quote:
To receive a prescribing license in New Mexico, psychologists must complete at least 450 hours of coursework; a 400 hour/100 patient practicum under physician supervision; and pass a national certification examination. The academic component includes psychopharmacology, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, clinical pharmacology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacoepidemiology, as well as physical and lab assessments.
Because you have to pay real doctors real money.
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  #26  
Old 10-07-2003, 06:02 PM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
According to this link http://www.aacpm.org/careercenter/cz3_links.asp it appears there are 6 US podiatric schools.

Quote:
Originally posted by Qadgop the Mercotan

This site lists podiatry schools around the world, and mentions a 7th US school. http://www.epodiatry.com/education.htm

OK, now I'm really confused. She went to a school near DC. Is there anyone who knows what school is down there? And if so, is it accredited?
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  #27  
Old 10-07-2003, 09:19 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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You had a dictator growing on the sole of your foot? OW!!!
A little etymology here. Fasces are sheaves. Of wheat or of tendons. Sheaves of wheat were a symbol of Mussolini's party, which then got to be called fascist. I think both the word and the symbol referred to the collectivist aspect. There is a sheaf of wheat on the back of the US dime, BTW. Meantime the sheaf of tendons in the bottom of the foot that goes from toes to the heel is also fasces.
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  #28  
Old 10-07-2003, 11:11 PM
CurtC CurtC is offline
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I would trust a podiatrist to fix ingrown toenails, and stuff that grows on the skin such as what Hari Seldon mentioned. However, with structural foot problems like I have, the pods that I've been to just want to fit me with some expensive orthotic insoles and get rid of me. Insoles seem to be the pod's panacea, but I'm completely unconvinced of their effectiveness.

I also saw an orthopedic MD who specializes in the foot. He didn't really help me either, but he explained my options without simply saying "you need orthotics!"
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  #29  
Old 10-08-2003, 11:36 AM
paperbackwriter paperbackwriter is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CurtC
I would trust a podiatrist to fix ingrown toenails, and stuff that grows on the skin such as what Hari Seldon mentioned. However, with structural foot problems like I have, the pods that I've been to just want to fit me with some expensive orthotic insoles and get rid of me. Insoles seem to be the pod's panacea, but I'm completely unconvinced of their effectiveness.

I also saw an orthopedic MD who specializes in the foot. He didn't really help me either, but he explained my options without simply saying "you need orthotics!"
There are two broad classes of podiatrists: primary care and surgical. You may want to look for a pod who is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). If you haven't seen a surgical podiatrist, you might have a better experience. (NOTA BENE: This is not actual medical advice).

Also, there are two types of orthotics: accommodative and functional. In very broad terms, accomodative orthotics attempt to help the foot absorb forces or to protect the foot from shock and stress. Functional orthotics attempt to control the function and gait of the foot. (That's a crappy definition, but I think you get the picture). Sometimes, even structural foot problems (like,say, mine) can be treated by functional orthotics. I wouldn't dismiss them completely.

That said, orthotics remain one of the largest sources of income, especially as insurance reimbursements for other parts of a practice drop. So there is a potential for abuse. I have not seen this as widespread among my wife's colleagues. As Qadgop says, there is a wide variety of practioners in terms of pratice style and quality.
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  #30  
Old 05-24-2014, 08:06 PM
doctor1919 doctor1919 is offline
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Podiatrist are not MD and not real physician

I have been podiatrist myself and went to real medical school after that. Podiatrist can not take care of whole human body and are not allow to neither and If they step out of USA , including mexico or canada ,,,or any even 3rd world countries their degree is useless and not allow to even see foot so Seinfeld joke was based on fact otherwise wouldn't be funny at all
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:10 PM
doctor1919 doctor1919 is offline
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Podiatrist are not MD and not real physician

I have been podiatrist myself and went to real medical school after that. Podiatrist can not take care of whole human body and are not allow to neither and If they step out of USA , including mexico or many other countries denmark, brazil, japan ,,,etc ,,,or any even 3rd world countries their degree is useless and not allow to even see foot so Seinfeld joke was based on fact otherwise wouldn't be funny at all
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  #32  
Old 05-24-2014, 09:28 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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And I thought basic literacy was a prerequisite for medical school. (And even podiatrist school.)
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  #33  
Old 05-24-2014, 09:44 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Don't medical students practice on cadavers? They should be well-equipped to recognize zombies, no?
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  #34  
Old 05-24-2014, 10:00 PM
Inna Minnit Inna Minnit is offline
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Don't medical students practice on cadavers? They should be well-equipped to recognize zombies, no?
It was an interesting read nonetheless.
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  #35  
Old 05-25-2014, 08:07 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
People don't always trust non MD (or DOs). For instance I have been to Optometrists(sp?) and everytime they say I need glasses. I have never had any trouble seeing. I have no vision problems. On two seperate occasions I have been to Opthamologists(sp?)[I believe that is what they are called...MDs who treat Eye Diseases] and they both said..."You got eyes like a hawk"

Optometrists may be out to sell you glasses.

I had a great experience with a Chiropracter but there are some that claim they can cure other disease like Hypertension, Heart Problems etc..
I don't doubt your experiences, but I would like to add two of mine. My doctor sent me to a podiatrist because my orthotics were nearly 15 years old. They could have changed; my feet could have changed. She spent 15-20 minutes examining me and announced that my orthotics still fit fine. No charge! Not even for the examination. I went to my optometrist because I have one eye with poor vision. He spent a half hour and then said that nothing he could prescribe would really help and my current glasses were fine. No charge! I even asked him if he wasn't in the business of selling glasses. Yes, but not if the customer was not going to be happy at the end.
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